While this book is a little darker than most cozies, it was excellent and I enjoyed it immensely. Great character development and tension building. I found myself thinking about this book several times a day, which is a good sign, as I only read it at night. I also read as long as I possibly could when I did lie down at night to read. Lily is believable, and I feel like I know the area in which she lives very well. I am sad to learn that there are only five books in this series as Charlaine Harris went on to write the Sookie Stackhouse vampire series and never went back to this series. It is being reprinted by Berkely Prime Crime, as the original series was published by Dell
I really like these series. I read the 3rd book before this 2nd in the series, which messed up my enjoyment a little, because I sort of new what happened, but it's still a good series. I love the author's writing style.
I like the Shakespeare series the best of all the Charlaine Harris series. Lily Bard is a very strong character. She matures over the story arc of the series, and gets stronger and yet a bit more vulnerable at the same time. I am very sorry that Charlaine feels she has gone as far as she can go with Lily Bard; our loss as readers, that's for sure.
Very pleased with this book! I was worried that this series wouldn't get rolling after so much was dedicated to the body building in the first installment. The real Harris is starting to shine thru again.
There's something rotten in Shakespeare... Lily Bard was running from shattering memories when she moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas. Now cleaning houses pays her bills. Working out helps her heal. Still protecting her scars, she hides a hard body and impressive skill at martial arts under baggy sweats. And nobody knows how strong she is until racial violence has her looking behind closed doors for a killer -- doors to which a housecleaner might have the key.
When Lily uses her training in goju to help a black man jumped by white teens, she does it for justice...only to hear he's been abducted and beaten to death a few weeks later. Then a bodybuilder is killed at her gym. Both incidents jar Lily's need for security and refuge. Looking into closets, sweeping under rugs, she soon uncovers enough dirt to confirm that something sinister is growing in her adopted town. Getting involved could endanger her life. But Lily is seeing a new man and dreaming new dreams. And no one can make this strong woman run again.
I mean, I knew Lily's story was gonna be dark. I expected her to be depressed to the point of making the reader depressed. Of course, I expected her to work out her issues throughout the story. What I did not expect was the story to be so good. The character to be so strong. Lily does have some serious issues to work with, and a heavy burden on her shoulders, but she is not miserable. She is not depressing. She is resourceful, a fighter... so much more than a survivor. I read the story and felt ashamed for all those times I've whined about petty nuisances, which are nothing compared to what Lily went through. I also felt proud of her for fighting her way out of the darkness and refuse being pitied and being treated like a victim.
This book series is a must-read for mystery novels. But it is also a must-read for women of all ages. I loved it.
Lily is a strong but wounded heroine and Jack is a tough hero with a past. Some of the descriptions of violence are fairly graphic. A good mystery about the increasing racial mistrust and violence in small town Arkansas.
Lily Bard has started over in the quiet town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, as a cleaning lady. She works out her anger and the pain of her past with martial arts. For Lily, the gym is a place to get away from her troubles, not find more of them. But when she stumbles on the corpse of a local bodybuilder, his neck broken with a barbell, the town's underlying racial tensions begin to boil over. The white victim was connected to two unsolved murders of black residents in Shakespeare, and a dogged policeman is determined to stop the killing. Lily may have to decide whether to stay and fight for justice, or run away one more time.